The team behind Cinder-Elly (1994) lands another fairy tale in New York City, with a majestic old apartment building standing in for the castle. When Little Beauty's parents give a bash to celebrate her birth, they forget to invite the witch. For that indiscretion, the witch lays a curse on Little Beauty: On her 14th birthday she'll prick her finger and fall into a deep sleep, along with her nearest and dearest, for 100 years. Little Beauty's years on earth without sharp objects have not blunted her intellect, however: Aware of her fate, she changes it by setting the alarm. The verse has a bounce that's right for reading aloud: ""Just to prove I'm not so mean/And that I'm not so snooty,/When time is up, a great rock star/Will wake the Sleeping Beauty,"" declares the witch, while a jazzy bit player pipes in ""Rooty-toot-toot/And tutti-frutti,/How does that grab you,/Dear Little Beauty?"" Karas's illustrations are diverting, featuring a shadowy cast of characters who appear to have caught the last train out of fin-de-siâ‰¤cle Prague.